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[ Hover Home ][ Engine and Fan ] [ Building the craft (I) ] [ Building the craft (II) ] [ Putting it all together ] [ Yeah, it works ] [ It works better now! ] [ Making a trailer and crane ] The Engine and the Frames

Getting some power.

lots of wires
This is the engine from a Honda NTV600, aquired from a neighbour, it came complete and has taken me some time to get to this state.

I've removed it from the bike, sorted out the wiring (some of it was duff - the fuel pump was wired to the sidelight!) and made a frame. The original ZXR400 engine we received with the hull had bits missing and we abandoned it. Although a bit heavy the NTV is a bomber engine. If it all works happily then I'll take it out again, strip it down and remove the gearbox internals which will drop a lot of weight. With carb tuning, new jets and a little porting I can get about 10bhp more from it. Not bad for £50.

It took a long time to dismantle the old wiring loom, so I just made my own, with a length of trailer wire to the front. I haven't shrunk the shrink wrap on the wires yet, and will tape wrap the loose wires. All joints are solded, except for some original plugs.
This is my original design for the frame. I've sacked the smaller diagonal members, think it will be strong enough.
Have to move the craft 100m from the garage if I need power, got some very funny looks, this was the first time most of my neighbours had seen the thing. Oh for power in the garage.......

The craft was laid up in the garage for nearly 3 months during winter and only really came out after the clocks went forward. Having to work outside and carry things to the flat for anything power related is a big pain.

This is it, it's very cool. Everything lines up pretty nicely and spins well. I'm not going to trust my own welding long term, so will have it professionally finished - some of those joints will take a lot of load and vibration.
Starting to get excited now. Almost everything is done, lots of little bits to do but the bits I thought would be hardest are all done. Will be interesting to see if it works.
In the absence of any actual facilities, one has to improvise. Here I'm using some (now written off!) climbing gear as an engine hoist.

I can't lift the engine on my own, so lifting out of the bike was done with techniques used for hauling unconscious climbers.

Had my flywheel machined, and a boss machined to take power from the crankshaft. When it started pissing oil out I realised I needed an oil seal, amazingly enough I had one the correct size. It's araldited on now.
Here it is, all bolted together, what it really needs is..........
The fans.....

At this point I ran it up to about 3000 (engine) rpms and got a fair draught. I had only tacked the boss onto the flange (where the oilseal is, above) and it broke. Not surprising really.....

Now I start worrying about exhausts. It sounds a bit of a dog without them, but pretty damn cool with them, and revs free-er as well. They came with some random hovercraft parts we bought off a friend.

They are a nice fit on the end of the downpipes (flared ends) and I'll stick some springs on to hold them. I'm also going to cut and re-weld them to get them to fit, adding an extra bend to send them up and back. Should be fun.

When we've proved the engine works OK (has enough power, and the flywheel drive doesn't come off) then I'll pay for some good ones.

More soon.